Location: Private Library
Extract from Preface:"In nearly every instance the material composing the sketches were
gathered from those immediately interested, and West submitted in type-written form for
correction and revision." ...THE PUBLISHERS
ANDREW B. WEST, a well-known contractor and builder of Hartford, was born Dec. 15, 1832, in a Cazenovia, Madison County, New York, and comes of an old Connecticut family.
Ephraim West, his grandfather, was born in Tolland, Connecticut, and passed his life there in agricultural pursuits. He received a good education for his time, and was especially noted for his skill in mathematics, being the compiler of an arithmetic. He was a man of wealth and prominence, holding various town offices, and enjoyed excellent health up to the time of his death, at the age of ninety-four. Upon religious subjects he held very strict views, and for many years he was a leading member of the Congregational Church in Tolland. His wife, Ruth Cobb, a native of Vermont, died Jan. 4, 1838, aged sixty-seven. Their 11 children all are now deceased.
Bicknell West, our subject's father, was born in Tolland, and grew to manhood at the old farm, obtaining a common-school education. He made his permanent home in Cazenovia, New York, where he purchased a farm, became a highly respected citizen and an active member of the Congregational Church. A short time before his death he went to Wisconsin on a visit, and died there suddenly from apoplexy, at the age of 70 years. He married Catherine Ehle, who was born in Sullivan County, New York, of German parentage, her father following farming there throughout his life. Mrs. West died at the age of 31 years, and of her five children only three are now living: Andrew B., John P., a resident of Brownton, Minnesota; and Orson, who resides in Ellington, Connecticut.
Andrew B. West left Cazenovia in boyhood, going to Tolland in a wagon with his father's family. There he was reared, and attended the common and high schools, also taking a course in the Suffield Literary Institute. He then learned the carpenter's trade, and went to Hartford as a journeyman, later becoming foreman. When the "Allyn House" was built, in 1857, he was foreman, and after this directed the work and soon went into partnership with James A. Foley (later known as Signor Foli), as contractors and builders. Their business constantly increased up to 1861, when his partner went abroad, and Mr. West has carried it on successfully since, having at different times other partners. He is now located at No. 101 1/2 Hudson Street, in the vicinity of the largest contractors in the city, and is the oldest in that line of business; at times he employs over 100 men. When he settled in Hartford there were less than 20,000 inhabitants, while the population is now 80,000. In 1865 he practically knew every man in the city, and now has a large acquaintance. He has probably put up more buildings than any other man in his locality, among them being factories, churches and a large number of the finest business blocks and dwellings in the city. He has also built many structures outside of the city, including three factories in Waterbury, and Charles Benedict's house, at Waterbury, costing $55,000, one of the finest in the State.
In 1855 Mr. West married Miss Mary L. Lapaugh, a native of Westerlo, Albany County, New York, where she received an excellent education. Her father, H. W. Lapaugh, was a leading farmer and prominent citizen of that locality. Mr. and Mrs. West have had two children: Albert N., an architect in Boston, who married Lynda Kelly; and Frank H. B., who died aged seventeen. In politics Mr. West is a Republican, but he has refused all offices; he attends the Congregational Church, with which his family has long been identified.